[OpenWrt-Devel] Why OpenWrt sucks?

David Lang david at lang.hm
Mon Mar 9 18:28:29 EDT 2015

On Mon, 9 Mar 2015, José Vázquez wrote:

> OpenWRT is a linux distro oriented to networking so the kernel and
> drivers are important, but you must not forget that the init process
> (procd and related after AA) is one of the cores of this distro and
> makes it work. The most relevant packages are oriented to networking,
> but with the feeds you can make anything that you want, making it very
> versatile.
> Also we must take in mind that OpenWRT works with GPL drivers and code
> (only few are proprietary); I think that one of the main advantages of
> use them is that anybody can contribute, and IMHO, are easy to
> maintain.
> One of the performance penalties come with the network drivers: while
> proprietary drivers are tightly coupled with the hardware, the drivers
> developed by OpenWRT guys and collaborators should not be so
> "complicated" because when the kernel version is changed they can
> generate a lot of problems and headaches, while more "generic" drivers
> do not take advantage of all the hardware features, overloading the
> cpu with tasks that in stock firmwares are managed by specific
> subsystems that are faster for those specific tasks.

there is no reason why the open drivers need to be slower than the proprietary 
ones. History has shown that with sufficient information, the open drivers end 
up being as fast, or faster than the proprietary ones. But it does take time and 
cooperation with the manufacturer to do this with the latest hardware.

Open drivers can be modified along with the kernel to take advantage of the 
newest features in the kernel. Proprietary drivers are either written for one 
specific kernel, or with a shim layer that limits how well the driver can work 
with future kernels.

David Lang
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